Marketers often consider the practice of content sharing when measuring the results of their social media efforts. Consumers have been sharing content via email and search findings for some time now. Outbrain recently analyzed the type of traffic that is being driven to content sites as one way to determine how social media sharing compares to other forms of sharing. Their findings suggest that sharing through social media has not resulted in the kind of engagement some marketers expect.
When content publishers check the source of traffic to their sites, here are the typical results:
- Search 41.4%
- Content sites 31.3%
- Portals 16.9%
- Social media 10.5%
However, for marketers in specific categories, social media excels as a way to share information. When traffic is driven to a specific content publisher’s site through social media, here are the top fields of interest:
- News 42%
- Entertainment 30%
- Lifestyle 13%
- Technology 10%
- Business and finance 3%
- Sports 3%
For example, friends who share information about an upcoming concert would be more likely to drive traffic and new business to a site that promotes entertainment. That same level of activity is not as obvious for content sites that are devoted to business and finance. Outbrain research also revealed that audiences referred to content sites via social media tend to be less engaged. Their average page views per session fall significantly below the activity recorded for audiences that come through other content sites and search. Further, the social media referred audience exhibited higher bounce rates. The bounce rate is measured as a session that lasts for only one page view. Outbrain also classified any session that lasted for five or more pages as belonging to a hyper-engaged reader. Again, content site and search referred sessions had the highest rates of hyper engagement.
Online publishers should consider what these statistics mean as they seek to optimize their sites and maximize audiences for their marketers.[Source: Outbrain Study Gives Insight into Content Discovery Trends. Outbrain. 14 Apr. 2011. Web. 2. May .2011]